Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Little Rainbow

I finished Biggie's coat up last night. There are a couple of little wonky bits, but I'll either fix them, or keep it to myself. I don't want to spoil my accomplishment by pointing out the flaws. And who cares anyway? Look how freaking cute she is in her jacket:

It is snuggly and warm, and will be perfect for the time being until it is really cold. Then she will wear the super duper crazy warm jacket her grandma got her. 

I really enjoyed making this jacket for my little Gremlin, and my sewing confidence is improving. I sewed this entirely without instructions, so I must be getting the hang of the basics! I plan on diving right into a Christmas dress for her to wear in her holiday photos. That will be from a vintage pattern, and I already have the farbic cut out and ready to go. 

Oh, and yesterday I managed to turn a total fail, a thing that was supposed to be a shell with a mandarin collar, into a wearable tank with rib knit at the arm and necklines. it was my first time working with rib knit- it was super easy and the finished result is nice. The fit of my shirt isn't perfect, but it is just as good as rtw, and I am so happy I didn't waste all of that fabric. Up next for me is a pretty, vintage blouse. I think. I never know, sometimes I just go off on a tear, and I do still have a trench to finish...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby's Technicolor Dreamcoat

  I have been working on a jacket for Baby A. It is fleece, fully interlined with cotton batting, and lined with a high end hot pink lining I found thrifting. I wish I had done this before I began the attempt at my own trench coat- you can learn a lot sewing a garment in miniature! I had the realization today that I can sew for Baby A using near scraps of fabric that I would certainly not be able to use for full sized garments. Also, I can try out techniques. For instance this coat is being made from a modified (shortened) onesie/bunting pattern. There was therefore not a lining pattern, so I drafted my own using Sewaholic's instructions on the blog Tilly and the Buttons. It worked out beautifully, as you can see. I ended up with a bit if excess lining at the neckline, but too much is not a problem. I will hide it under the neck facing. To finish up, I just need to attach a coat zipper and stitch the lining in. I am excited to finish, and it has been getting chilly around here. Oh yeah- and this all came about as part of Papa's hang up with items made in China. Try finding a baby's coat that isn't! I will have the snug pose for us when her new little dreamcoat is complete!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Snow! 11/6/10

I went out on the back porch just to snap a few shots and then hopped
back in bed with my two snugs!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Recycling the Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I found a beautiful Pendelton Wool plaid skirt suit at the
thrift store. Unfortunately, this beautiful skirt and blazer had seen
much better days- moths had found the suit out in a forgotten closet
somewhere, and the holes they had eaten in it ensured that it would
never be worn again. Sad. I'll admit, for 3 dollars, I didn't look too
closely. It was only upon returning home that I realized I had
purchased an unwearable suit. I was bummed, but again, I was only out
three dollars. Then, I decided to challenge myself with that suit.
What could I make with what was left of that gorgeous wool fabric?
Stockings. I made three Christmas stockings. One for me, one for Papa
Bear, and one for Baby Bear. They came out very nicely- I utilized
features that were part of the skirt: the hem became the stocking
tops; the lining hem became the loops from which to hang the
stockings, and the lining also became the patches to cover the few
remaining moth holes. I considered embroidering our names on them, but
in the end I used fabric paint and stencils cut from card stock with
an exacto. The font is "Diner." I am quite happy with the stockings,
and I can't wait to fill them with special little gifts for the loves
of my life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Tupperware Treasure Chest, Pre-Holiday Visits, An Irish Cape, The New Etsy Shop (a.k.a If You Were Here, I'd Chat off Your Ear!)

A few weeks ago I was browsing (as usual) in the local Goodwill with my bunny and Mother-in-law when I spotted something that made my little heart skip a beat. Ba bump. Goodwill never has any good sewing stuff, but there, among the old wobbly chairs was a plastic bin overflowing with patterns. I approached hesitantly. I knew that I had better not get my hopes up lest they be circa 1990 patchwork vest patterns. When I saw what were clearly sixties and seventies patterns layering the top, I drew in a deep breath. This could turn ugly. What if I fell in love with the whole lot? How much would it cost me? I began to pore over them, separating the ones I liked from the bin. Unfortunately, my keep stack grew rapidly and threatened to fall. It was then that my MIL said the magic words: "Why don't you see if you can buy the whole bin?" I froze. This had not occurred to me. Could I do such a thing? What would B think? What would it cost? I approached a friendly sales clerk that I see there often with the question. "Um, do you think I could just take the whole bin off of your hands?" She went into the back room briefly and returned with the answer. "Yes." Yes, I could buy them ALL. And, I could buy them all at a very, very reasonable price. My hands shook with excitement as I carried the bin up to the register. "Do you need help out with that?" asked the friendly sales clerk. Heck no. I was running on the pure adrenaline of a heavy vintage sewing fix. I could have carried the car to the bin if I had needed to. Anyway:


The former owner noted on the envelope that she wore this to homecoming and with whom she went!
I love this! The vintage "hoodie."

I have a thing for coat dresses

I also have a thing for western wear. Check out the yokes and cuffs! 

These are a few of my favorites. There were some hits, and there were some misses. Overall, it was a pretty awesome score, and it was made even more awesome by the fact that at least 1/4 are in factory folds, and the majority of them were in MY SIZE! No kidding! I will begin listing some of them on my new Etsy store soon. 

Oh yeah- I started an Etsy shop. It is under the Farmhouse Garden name, and I have only put up a couple of items so far, but there is plenty more to come. I see it as a way to indulge my hobby while contributing to the grocery budget. Check back often to see what's new- I put a button on the right side of this page. 

On to the visits- We had Grandma and Grandpa R. visiting these past couple of weeks, and we all had a really great time together. Grandma had fun playing with her grandbunny, who is now pushing up on all fours to crawl, but only rocking back and forth as of yet. I'd better get my running shoes on! We also had a friend come up for a short visit during which we went up to check out the leaf-looking from the new tower at Wayah Bald.   

The refurbished tower is nice, and the view was spectacular. We have had beautiful weather too! Maybe it'll get cold soon though, and I might have to bust out my new Irish cape that I picked up thrifting the other day! 

From what I gathered in a quick online search it is a vintage 70s Jimmy Hourihan Irish Tweed cape. I saw a very drab one that just sold for farty (that's how the Irish say it) smackaroos on eBay, and mine is anything but drab. Plus, I paid nowhere near farty dollars. Try eight. I don't know why the thrifting gods smile down on me so freely, but they do. 

Anyway, I guess that's enough for one night. I am tired and going to catch some sleep- In closing, I wanted to share an image with you that I caught last night on my iPhone. On a couple of the vintage lifestyle blogs I read there has lately been some discussion of modern times vs. old times, practicality, frugality, etc. On that note, here is your "moment of zen:"

Yes, that is a Hummer. Yes, that is a wind turbine sticker on the rear window. Ha ha! Only in the good old U.S. of A.! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This Mixer Cover was not Made in China

I sewed a new mixer cover for my trusty Kitchenaid this evening using
reclaimed vintage bed cover fabric with adorable hand stitched
appliqué birds and flowers on it. I used Simplicity (?) 9532 because I
have it, but the cover came out a bit too baggy, so I am going to
draft a basic pattern of my own. I will have these and toaster covers
in my new Etsy shop, which will be up and running soon under the
Farmhouse Garden name.

This year for Christmas and from now on in general B and I plan to
avoid buying cheap wares that were made in China and instead buy local
and handmade goods. I also plan to make gifts as much as possible from
now on, but as I am only one woman with two arms, I am sure I will be
buying some things. Luckily, in our town we have an amazing shop
filled with goodies made by local artists and crafters. And of course
there is, which you must check out if you are not already
familiar with the site. I am always in awe of the creative genius of
others when I browse
Anyway, B makes a good point. To some extent, the current recession
was made in China- as long as we refuse to pay fair prices for the
goods we buy, we will continue to fill our houses with disposable, low
quality crap that was made by underpaid workers on the other side of
the world. And we will continue to send our nation's wealth in
exchange for it.

I will post some more photos and stories soon! We have had fun company
for the last couple weeks, and I have had some awesome thrifting luck-
I mean, really, stars aligned, green clovers, rabbit feet, amazing
thrifting luck. More about that to come, as well as A's first
Halloween photos...